Alan Pardew believes that his side have taken a big step in the preparations for the new Premier League season after beating Supersport United 4-0 to advance to the Cape Town Cup final.
Goals from Mile Jedinak, Chung-yong Lee, Jordon Mutch and Fraizer Campbell in the first half ensured a safe passage to the final, and with many of the starting line-up playing a full 90 minutes for the first time in pre-season and with some good performances throughout the side, Pardew was happy with his players’ efforts.
Post-match, he said: “For us it’s another building block towards Norwich and we’re getting closer. We had some good performers today, Jordon Mutch had a good game, Chungy was the man of the match and Jason Puncheon – they were probably our three standout players. We’re now looking forward to the final on Sunday.
“It was the first time our players have played 90 minutes and about six finished the game today, which meant we ran out of energy a little bit towards the end but in the first half we were very fast and very clinical in our breaks and exploited some mistakes that Supersport made.
“Remember we had no Zaha today or Bolasie or Murray because they’re all carrying knocks but we hope to see them in the final.”
After watching his side run riot in the first half, Pardew’s men couldn’t break down a resolute Supersport side in the second half and he was full of praise and advice for tonight’s opponents.
“We’ve been made to feel very welcome in the city and I think that reflected in our play today,” he added. “The standard of the opposition was probably below where they wanted to be in the first half but in the second they did well and should have scored at least one goal.
“They were the better side in the second half and they can take some confidence from that. They made it much more difficult for us and it became a much more even affair.
“I think the athleticism of South African players is there, as well as the physical side of the game, but the technical and tactical areas are what they need to improve on. But in the second half I felt the coach did a good job because 4-0 down at half-time is tough going, but he got his team in a good place so he needs a pat on the back for what they did against a Premier League team.
“We have players with experience of different levels and that’s going to show. When you’re in big games you know how to cope with the opposition and that’s where the step for Supersport is next.”
for interviews from the South Africa trip.